Category Archives: STYLE

Blazer Inspiration

I recently pulled a couple blazers out of the dark depths of my closet hoping that by making them visible I’d wear them more often. To motivate myself even more, I made this inspiration collage with images from around the web of blazer-wearing done stylishly. A summary of the ideas I pulled from the images follows, as well as links to the sources. Click on the collage for a larger view.
blazers

  • Wear it with a maxi skirt for a casual yet comfy look. Wear it with an above-the-knee a line skirt for a more girly, fun look.
  • Make a really stand-out blazer stand out even more by wearing it with a neutral one-color outfit (like black).
  • Layer it up! Add a voluminous scarf and a hat.
  • Layer a solid blazer over a patterned top. Try lace or stripes.
  • Try a chambray shirt. It’s still casual, but more structured than a tee.
  • If the blazer is neutral, ad a layer underneath that pops. Try a deep pink or a neon color.
  • Dress it down. Wear it with a screen print tee and sneakers. Try some rough denim. Have at least one more polished piece though, such as a skirt or some nice loafers, to keep the outfit from looking frumpy.
  • Be bold with a textured blazer (velvet, wool). Wear it with fun florals, fringe, and layered on accessories.
  • Keep the outfit simple and wear stand-out shoes (like those metallic oxfords).
  • Wear a bold necklace. Bonus points if you also wear a bold pattern.
  • Pair the blazer with more casual trousers, like chinos.Heels will keep it looking sophisticated.

One great thing about blazers is that most consignment and thrift stores have plenty of them, so you should be able to find one that fits your body and taste if you ever need one. If you can get your hands on the latest issue of Real Simple Magazine, there’s an article in it about how to determine if a blazer fits you properly.

Do you have any tips for wearing a blazer – perhaps a way you like to wear them that’s not listed above?

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Twirl!

The weather this weekend was unseasonably warm. Yesterday we actually had a record-tying high (74˚F). Though I typically like the weather to stay appropriate to the season (I have yet to see snow this year), I did enjoy our brief warm spell. This is what I wore on Saturday. I love this dress – it’s so fabulously twirly!

See also: How to Wear Summer Dresses in Colder Months
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flannel shirt: secondhand A&F
dress: secondhand Papaya
necklace: secondhand
shoes: secondhand Minnetonka

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Dentist-Approved

The dentist told me she liked my outfit…then she told me I need three fillings. She asked if I drink a lot of soda and fruit juice. Haha! I never drink soda and rarely processed fruit juice, I prefer my coffee unsweetened, and I only occasionally put honey in my tea.

Outfit tip: Wear a fun patterned shirt under a solid sweater to make it more exciting. Choose a top that’s a little longer than the sweater or roll your sleeves so it’ll show.
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Sweater: secondhand Old Navy
Striped top: secondhand Kim Rogers
Jeans: secondhand J. Crew
Shoes: Crown Vintage
Scarf: original Good (fair trade)

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And the color of the year is…

Being a designer, I love all things Pantone. I particularly love the fashion color reports…even though the reports include too many colors to really dictate what I wear, they’re fun to look at because they have fashion designers craft looks around each color and provide a few words about it. I also really like that they choose a color for each year. It’s fun to anticipate what that color might be. The Pantone color of 2013 is EMERALD! I LOVE this color.

Here’s a little inspiration board I put together to start thinking about how to style this rich, lovely, bold color. I love that it’s a color so abundantly found in nature, and it’s also pretty timeless (don’t you love those vintage photos I found?). I also think it’s a color that works well for all seasons. It’s rich and deep – perfect for fall and winter, yet it suggests life and growth (green trees!) for spring and summer. Click the image for a larger view, and see below for links to where I found them.

emerald

swatchbracelets, velvet blazer, skirt, purse, coat & hat, Emerald City, scarf, nails, vintage dress, Northern Lights, Kate Middleton, lake & trees, vintage hat, shoes, sparkly shoes, fabric

If you want to hunt down some emerald to add to your wardrobe at a consignment or thrift store, I suggest looking for accessories (jewelry, scarves, purses) and basics (tees, cardigans), as you’ll probably have the most luck finding those things. I did see a pretty emerald dress the other day in Your Stuff Consignment Boutique, though, so who knows. You may just get lucky! :)

How do you feel about the color of the year? Do you like it?

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Cozy Sweater Lesson

So this was a day when the desire to be warm was more overpowering than the desire to look great. It’s not terrible, but I wouldn’t wear this combo again. The shape of the sweater (length in particular) and the shape of the dress just don’t work together. But the sweater…it’s from Ireland…and it’s warm…and it’s cozy! This dress is actually really cute when it’s not covered up by a frumpy sweater. It has a kinda 1950′s look to it and it’s a very flattering shape. I’ll have to feature it again. So consider this a lesson: be careful what you wear cozy (i.e. frumpy) sweaters with.
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sweater: Aran Sweater Shop, Inis Mór, Ireland
dress: secondhand L.L. Bean
tights: secondhand Hue
shoes: secondhand Minnetonka

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2012 Roundup

So as my last post of the year, I’ve gathered some stuff that I posted in 2012 right here in one convenient post. Enjoy!

OUTFITS

Here is a selection of some of my favorite outfits I wore this year. Click the image to go to the original post.

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TUTORIALS & TIPS

Secondhand (Not Second-Rate) Gift Guide

How to Wear Summer Dresses in Colder Months

A Million Ways to Wear Chambray

The Art of Wearing Stripes

Tips on Mixing Patterns and Textures

Carbon Footprint  (how material purchases are left out of the equation and why buying used is a good choice)

Packing Tips: Part 1 and Part 2

DIYS

DIY Outer Space (or Doctor Who) Tote

DIY Nordic Sweater Inspired Tee

DIY Peter Pan Collar

BEST OF WEEKEND LINKS

Jessi Arrington: Wearing Nothing New TED Talk

Portlandia vintage clothing store skit

DIY: origami necklacetassel necklacescalloped bagpolka dot shirtlace teecolor block teetulle skirt

A Lady’s Guide: Seasonal Closet Switch

Tips from a J. Crew Stylist & how to properly roll your sleeves

Tips for Successful Thrift Shopping

How to Dress for Any Occasion

Three Tips for Pattern Mixing

24 New Rules for Clothes from the New York Fashion Week Runways (silly)

Wild shoes from 1939

a DSLR camera simulator that helps you learn to use your camera

Tilt Shift Maker - for photographs that make the world look miniature

My favorite blog for simply browsing pretty pictures

I was in a promo produced by Discovery Channel!

One of my favorite desserts…avocado pie

RageChill - adjust the meter to get music based on your mood

Budge - an adorable mobile health improvement app

Need a compliment?

Draw A Stickman

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Christmas Outfit

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas yesterday! I’m still trying to force myself back into productive mode. I COMPLETELY failed today…this blog post is the most productive thing I’ve done. I wouldn’t be in such a rush if I didn’t have a few grad school application essays to write and a portfolio to finish putting together before January 7th. Yeps, I decided to apply to grad school. Initially I was only planning on applying to one school I’m really interested in, but I think I may apply to a few more (that luckily have deadlines later in spring, so no rush on those). The more I think about going back to school, the more fond I become of the idea. But we’ll see what happens.

This is my Christmas outfit! I never left home yesterday, but it was still nice to look a little festive for the day. I love this sparkly deer sweatshirt, and I’ll probably continue wearing it into January and February (it’s a deer—not a reindeer—just to make that clear :P ). I ate a LOT, played Pictionary with my family, and watched approximately seven straight hours of Doctor Who with my sister…and then went back and watched the Christmas special for a second time when it aired again at midnight. I do love Doctor Who. How’d you spend your Christmas?
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striped tee: secondhand J. Crew
sweatshirt: secondhand Kirra (New with tags from Pacsun)
pants: secondhand Fade to Blue
shoes: secondhand AE
scarf: secondhand

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Pop of Purple

Last Tuesday, I returned to my beloved college to attend an event where all the Digital Video and Cinema (DVC) students debut their 20 minute films they spend the semester working on. I wasn’t a DVC student, but I did start out as one before switching to a different concentration. I have lots of friends and acquaintances who are DVC, so the event is something I’ve enjoyed going to for the past several years. I wouldn’t have dreamed of missing it this semester, as there were a couple films I was really looking forward to seeing (one I designed a logo for). They were all really fantastic, and it was a ton of fun getting to see so many friends (several close friends who graduated when I did went to the event as well). Anyway, this is what I wore. …Have I told you how much I miss school?!

I Hope you had a great Monday! I’m off on an adventure to visit some family through Wednesday. (I’m scheduling a post, so you won’t miss me.)

P.S. See this post on Sidewalk Ready to learn how I tied my scarf (though mine didn’t quite turn out like hers). I did it a while after watching the video so I probably didn’t do it right. Oh well.
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dress: secondhand Gap
socks: Sierra Trading Post
shoes: secondhand Miss Sixty
scarf: secondhand
belt: secondhand
earrings: secondhand

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Secondhand (Not Second-Rate) Gift Guide

secondhand_gifts

I’ve always been the homemade gift type of person. Whether just a simple card or a larger undertaking like a painting or jewelry, I just think they’re more heartfelt…at least for me. But some people just aren’t crafty or simply don’t have time. For those people, there are still ways to give amazing, heartfelt gifts without spending a fortune. Your first thought may be, “secondhand gifts…I don’t want to be a cheapskate and give a tacky, pre-owned gift.” But trust me, it’s completely possible to give secondhand gifts that aren’t second-rate. I’ve been receiving secondhand gifts for most of my life, and I’ve always enjoyed and appreciated them. Here are a few ideas and tips so you can master the art of secondhand gift-giving. (Note: This post is written specifically with ladies in mind, but you can probably modify ideas or come up with ideas of your own based on this list if you are shopping for a gentleman or a kiddo.)

  1. Create a jewelry gift bag. Go to your local consignment/thrift store and I’m SURE you’ll find oodles of cute fashion jewelry and even some nice “real” pieces. Since they’ll probably have great prices, pick a few. Find a cute clutch, small purse, or cosmetic bag to put the jewelry in. Spending $20 on a few necklaces AND a clutch beats spending $20 on a single necklace at a department store!
  2. A scarf, purse, or other accessory. Consignment stores (at least the ones I’ve been to) ALWAYS have really cute, often new or even designer accessories…at amazing prices, of course.
  3. Gift basket. Grab a basket from a thrift store or the dollar store (or just use a gift bag) and fill it with all kinds of goodies from a consignment or thrift store. DVDs, picture frames, candles, jewelry, scarves, books…just go shopping with a specific person in mind and I’m sure you’ll find some stuff they’ll love. And with DVD’s likely not being more than $5 a piece, you can really fill that basket or bag!
  4. Look for items new with tags. If you’re concerned the recipient will be wary of the origin of untagged/unboxed items, you can usually find quite a few new items in consignment stores that are truly steals. Just hunt those down.
  5. A giftcard. Ask your favorite store if they offer gift cards. Obviously with this gift you need to be certain of the recipient’s stance on secondhand shopping.
  6. Have a little more time and a best girl friend who you love to go shopping with? Give your friend a shopping trip! Offer to chauffeur her to your (or her) favorite consignment or thrift store, give her some cash, and have fun! Maybe even take her to lunch before or after. I did this with my best friend recently, and she had a great time (I didn’t pay for her purchase, but I did pay for the gas…the store was an hour away. And my sister payed for her dinner).
  7. DIY. I always use secondhand clothes to create my DIY items. A personalized gift is always awesome. See this and this for a couple ideas.
  8. Go explore…this is kind of the same point I made in idea #3. There’s probably an unexpected gem waiting at your local consignment or thrift store, so go look around. Who knows, maybe you’ll find something really unique that would be absolutely perfect for that person you have in mind.

 

Now go shopping! Not sure where to go?

  • Local? Here’s a coupon for Your Stuff & Kids’ Stuff Consignment Boutiques.
  • Try Buffalo Exchange if you’re lucky enough to live near one. There are a lot of them in the southwest US, but they’re scattered all over the country.They’re very trendy, and even have some vintage finds. LOVE! (Unfortunately the closest one to me is still three hours away.)
  • Plato’s Closet locations are all over the US. Their target audience is younger…preteens/teens, but they can vary a lot depending on where they are. For example, there’s one in Charlottesville near UVa, and they normally have quite a bit of super nice J. Crew stuff there. But there’s another I’ve been to in North Carolina that is huge and has packed racks, and honestly it’s a bit overwhelming…too much teenybopper stuff to dig through to be worth the time.
  • Uptown Cheapskate locations aren’t as plentiful as Plato’s Closet…just check the map. They also cater to a younger audience, but more so to young adults than Plato’s so I actually like them quite a lot.
  • Often, the best places to go are little local boutiques. Here is a handy shopping guide by NARTS (Association of Resale Professionals). You can use it to search for consignment and thrift stores in your area that are NARTS members (which are always top-notch stores). I’ve been to a lot of these stores (in Scottsdale/ Phoenix, Palm Beach, St. Louis, Dallas) and they will be COMPLETELY worth your time if you’re near any and can visit.
  • (note: all stores are linked to locations page)

I hope this is helpful to you and HAPPY SHOPPING! :)

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Holiday Dinner

Your Stuff and Kids’ Stuff‘s Christmas dinner was on Friday. In an attempt to be a little festive, I wore the Nordic inspired tee I made last week (tutorial here) with a sparkly skirt. Nearly everyone else was wearing jeans. Woohoo for always overdressing!

I took these pictures at dusk…in the rain…in a hurry. Not bad considering all the factors working against me! :D
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tee: secondhand Loft DIYed
skirt: secondhand Loft
tights: CVS, maybe?
loafers: Crown Vintage via DSW
coat: secondhand Gap
earrings: secondhand

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  • Hey! I'm Maggie, a graphic designer, crafter, devoted secondhand shopper, Doctor Who fanatic, and dog-lover. Stick around and explore!


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